I have been a screaming, deranged and obsessed fan of New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) for about 22 years, so this will not be an unbiased review of their July 3 concert. In fact, the majority of people who flocked to the Mandalay Bay Events Center—minus some dorky dudes who went thinking it was a good place to meet chicks—would admit there’s little that could’ve happened onstage, good or bad, that would’ve made the experience anything less than “magical.”

This year, the ’80s uber-boy band, who have been touring summer arenas since 2009, brought along their ’90s counterparts, the Backstreet Boys (BSB) to create an acronym extravaganza, NKOTBSB. The result was two hours of well-defined abs, sparkly shirts and pelvic thrusts, which could be seen from both the back and front on the long narrow stage that jutted into the audience. The bands shared equal billing and rotated through a set list of their greatest hits much to the delight of the crowd of die-hard fans.

The only difference between this concert and the first time I saw the New Kids (Magic Summer tour in 1990 at Dodger Stadium, thank you very much) was that everyone was drunk—and instead of being kids, some women brought their kids. One fan got so wound up (on vodka cocktails) that she came tumbling down the steps during “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” and pegged me in the back of the head with her shoe. And from the looks of the merch line after the show, the Kids, who are worth an estimated $40 to $60 million apiece, will keep giving us fans exactly what we want: a walk down memory lane.

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The Librarian Loves


By Jeanne Goodrich

For an intriguing, eye-opening look at the cruelties and complexities of slave-era relationships between slave mistresses and their masters (and among the slave mistresses themselves), take a trip via Dolen Perkins-Valdez’ novel Wench (HarperCollins, 2010) to an Ohio resort that catered to these peculiar couples. Over three summers, four slave women meet during their “vacations” with their masters, share the challenges of their lives, their men, their children and the tension caused by their knowledge that while in Ohio they are in a free state but still the chattel of their mast